Previous | Next --- Slide 42 of 46
Back to Lecture Thumbnails

So what is the purpose of having work queues? From the previous slides it would seem that as long as you take the longest task from the pool, you will end up with an optimal (I believe) distribution of work. This whole idea of "stealing" from another queue does make sense given the work queues, but it seems similar to just taking another task from the pool of tasks.


@pwei: I may be off base, but I think it's to minimize the communication between threads. If all the threads are pulling their tasks from the same priority queue, then there will have to be a mutex keeping them from grabbing the same task (unless "pop" is atomic, but in either case accessing the queue can only be done in serial, whereas each thread accessing its own queue can be done in parallel). This could be especially important if there is a chunk of tasks with similar work, in which case threads may all want a new task at the same time.


I'd agree with rbcarlso, and also add that sometimes this is useful if you have a NUMA architecture or a distributed system. In those cases communication time can be just as big a deal as contention, and keeping the relevant data close to the processors is important.